The Narrow View of Reading Promotes a Broad View of Comprehension

Catts, Hugh W.
April 2009
Language, Speech & Hearing Services in Schools;Apr2009, Vol. 40 Issue 2, p178
Academic Journal
Purpose: This article is a response to A. G. Kamhi's proposal of the narrow view of reading. Method: A descriptive approach is used to review research concerning the cognitive basis of reading comprehension. Educational implications for instruction and assessment are considered. The role of the speech-language pathologist (SLP) in intervention related to reading comprehension is also addressed. Conclusion: Although the narrow view of reading seems restrictive, it actually leads to a broad view of comprehension. The latter view, which is consistent with current research, proposes that comprehension is an active process in which readers use background knowledge and a range of cognitive processes to construct a coherent representation of text. This view challenges some current approaches to assessment and instruction of reading comprehension. It does not, however, diminish the role that SLPs can play in intervention related to reading comprehension.


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